Black History Month
Open unto me, light for my darkness
Open unto me, courage for my fear
Open unto me, hope for my despair
Open unto me, peace for my turmoil
Open unto me, joy for my sorrow
Open unto me, strength for my weakness
Open unto me, wisdom for my confusion
Open unto me, forgiveness for my sins
Open unto me, tenderness for my toughness
Open unto me, love for my hates
Open unto me, Thy Self for myself
Lord, Lord, open unto me!
Written by Howard Thurman, From Meditations of the Heart
Thurman who was born in 1899 and raised in the segregated South. He is recognized as one of the great spiritual leaders of the 20th century renowned for his reflections on humanity and our relationship with God. Thurman was a prolific author (writing at least 20 books); perhaps the most famous is Jesus and the Disinherited (1949), which deeply influenced Martin Luther King, Jr. and other leaders of the Civil Rights Movement. Thurman was the first black person to be a tenured Dean at a PWI (Boston U). He also cofounded the first interracially pastored, intercultural church in the US.
Spirit of the Living GOD,
Fall afresh on us.
We have gathered in this place this morning, allow your spirit to fill our very being. Most gracious and loving GOD, we remember the struggles of our people, black people, people of African descent, your people and thank you for your grace, your love, and your mercy. We thank you for leaders that you continue to place in high places and ordinary places. Inspire each of us to work more faithfully for justice and dignity of life everywhere. Lord GOD, we remember the hurts of exclusion and prejudice, but we know that you can raise our vision above all barriers and give us wisdom and courage to make this a better world.
As you give us yourself in the Bread of Hope and the Cup of Mercy - show us how to give ourselves to those who are without hope and to those who cry for mercy.
Lord GOD, rule over our spirit in this hour that we will go from this worship with the freedom of those who trust in you.
In the name of Jesus Christ, AMEN.
Invocation by My Moms Prayers
Most Loving and Merciful GOD,
In whose law we find our guidance, in whose Love we find our healing and joy, and in whose will we find our peace, rule over our spirits in this hour that we will go from this worship with the freedom of those who trust you and need have no anxiety for themselves. Empower us, O GOD to be open to the seasons of life and give of our hearts Love generously to all in need. Grant us the silence of heart so that we can grow in your word.
As we go through this worship today and culminate what we call "Black History Month", help us to never forget our history and en still in us the willingness to share our history with our youth and others throughout the year.
Now Lord GOD, fill us with the solemnity of the faith of the great commission; but also provide us with the means and the will to stay in Loving and Joyous relationships with one another and the world. We ask a special blessing for our pastor who will bring the message by sharing historical reflections.
Lord, we praise and adore you and we thank you for the joy we have in worshiping you in spirit and in truth.
In the name of JESUS, the Christ, we pray, AMEN.
Invocation by My Moms Prayers